Healthy Skin Diet: The Truth About Antioxidants
Learn everything you need to know about these powerful ingredients -- once and for all
The truth about seleniumAll minerals, selenium included, work to stimulate antioxidant production in the body. But, you must get them from your diet because your body does not naturally produce them. Selenium specifically is one of the most powerful minerals as it aids in the absorption of vitamin E in addition to protecting your skin's elasticity and providing sun protection.
The kicker is that you only need a very small amount of it -- think a millionth of a gram (55 mcg*) daily. More than that may be toxic and lead to hair and nail loss. "Many times, something that helps in low doses, can do the exact opposite in high doses. The very thing you're taking it for will actually start to deteriorate," says Canfield. So, if you take selenium and think your skin is getting worse, don't take more of the mineral, which would only aggravate it more, she says. It's quite the catch-22.
Where it's found: Canfield says that since U.S. soil has selenium in it almost anything that grows from the ground will contain it. Grains, wheat germ and legumes all have selenium, in addition to seafood and eggs. Canfield says, "it's really rare that someone has a selenium deficiency," so her advice is to avoid taking a supplement.
* According to the Linus Pauling Institute
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